The Changing Season
By Steve Manchester
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 5 stars
The story begins with Billy Baker driving his
childhood best friend Charlie Philips during a heavy rainstorm.
“’I can’t believe we’re actually graduating from
high school in a couple of days,’ Billy said, trying to alleviate the anxiety
he felt behind the wheel.”
The storm foreshadows the anxiety Billy faces this
summer between high school and college. He knows his childhood is ending, but
has no idea what he wants to do as an adult.
“Dripping wet but relieved to be in one piece, Billy
returned home to find Jimmy, his other best friend, waiting for him.
Jimmy was so excited to see Billy that – as if his
canine frame were made of rubber bones – his body bent in half from his tail
wagging so hard.”
Billy planned a last lazy summer of childhood,
enjoying time with all his friends, putting off all the uncertainty and
decisions waiting for him in the fall. What he finds instead are a series of
challenges that force his maturity ahead of his planned schedule, making this
summer a true changing season for him.
Readers will relate easily to Billy, fall in love
with his dog, Jimmy, his loyal confidante, and submerge themselves in all that
happens during this significant time in Billy’s life.
The author has conceived a deeply human,
compassionate story with very real characters, exceptionally executed dialogue,
and a conclusion that will stay with readers after they turn the very last